November 2008


Jack showing the artwork Anna has made for him and the model she picked out for him.dsc02223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack is displaying his artwork that Anna has made for him and a model that Anna picked out for him to put together.  So Jack had a better day today. He still has the mouth sores but those will last a few days. His temperature stayed down until this evening and has only gone up to 100.1. He got some blood today since his red count was low. I imagine he will get some more platelets tomorrow. He seemed to be more himself today.  He even worked on a model that Anna picked out for him.  Dave is going to visit with Jack in the morning and Anna and I are going to have Christmas pictures done tomorrow and have some more Mommy/Daughter time.

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So today was a difficult day. Jack started running a fever which he normally does when his white count is this low. The doctors have taken blood cultures to make sure they treat whatever is causing the fevers. They have also started several different antibiotics to combat anything that might be growing. He is also getting mouth sores which is normal for the chemo he has gotten but it is annoying since it hurts to eat or drink. They have given him pain medicine which is helping.He also decided to shave his head today since his hair was starting to fall out. We did have some fun with this. He shaved a Mohawk for the picture today but when I went to take the picture the camera battery had died. Oh well, tomorrow though I will post a pic with all of his hair gone. All this and he still managed to win two games of Dominoes.

This is a great hat that some of our friends sent Jack. It really sums it all up.

This is a great hat that some of our friends sent Jack. It really sums it all up.

So it has come to my attention that several people checking the blog don’t know any of Jack’s history and why the transplant is occurring. So I thought I would post a blog to explain what has been going on four the last four and a half years.

Jack has been in the Army Reserve for 14 years. They are finally medically retiring next month. In 2003, his unit was mobilized and sent to Iraq. In January 2004 while still in Iraq he found some swollen lymph nodes in his arm pits. He talked to a doctor there in Iraq and they airlifted him to Germany. It took about a week for him to get to Germany and during that time enlarged lymph nodes developed in his chest and neck areas. The Army then chose to send him home for treatment. Once home they biopsied the swollen lymph nodes and discovered it to be Hodgkins Lymphoma. It is a cancer of the lymph system. Hodgkins is very curable (85-90%). He went through seven months of chemotherapy in Amarillo at the Veteran’s hospital and he responded very well to the chemo. The cancer went into remission for about 2 years. During those 2 years we felt God calling us to Fort Worth, Texas in order for Jack to attend Southwestern Seminary. After only attending one semester we discovered the cancer had relapsed. He then started another three months of chemotherapy at the Dallas Veteran’s hospital. Then last September he went through a Stem Cell transplant in San Antonio where they used his own stem cells to renew his bone marrow after going through extremely high doses of chemo to kill the cancer. The tumors initially shrunk some but then grew large again rapidly.  He then started more chemo in March of this year until July. In September they did a month of radiation to try and shrink the tumors even more. They were trying to get the cancer under control prior to attempting the bone marrow transplant. So now we are in Nashville doing the bone marrow transplant. If I understand correctly there is really nothing wrong with his bone marrow, but with his lymph cells. They don’t recognize the Hodgkins disease so instead of getting it out of his body his lymph cells let it stay and grow. They are hoping the new bone marrow’s lymph cells will weed out the Hodgkins cells and destroy them.

Hope this helps!

It was a good day today. Jack is doing good for the most part. He got some platelets this morning since they were low, but this is expected. Other than feeling tired he is doing great.  I think he was worn out from winning three games of Dominoes this morning. I am just going to admit I am worst Dominoe player in the World. He got a great surprise tonight. The youth minister from our church in Fort Worth and the youth worship leader are in town for a conference so they surprised Jack with a visit tonight. When I talked to him a few minutes ago they had just started a game of Dominoes. Dave was taking a pizza to Jack for dinner tonight so they can have pizza and watch the Texas Tech game together. It sounds like it is going to be a great guy’s night for him.

Anna and I had a girl’s afternoon visiting Hobby Lobby and Walmart. It was fun just getting to be with her even if Walmart was crazy. We purchased a small Christmas tree and some items to make Christmas ornaments. We are making garland and ornaments for our tree this year since we will be away from home during Christmas.

Many games of Dominoes.

Many games of Dominoes.

Jack is three days post transplant and is doing wonderful. His counts have dropped but that is expected and might get some blood today, this is normal. There was some concern with his liver since he has had so much chemotherapy over the last four years and was expected but those have come back down to normal. The doctors are really impressed he is doing so good. His best friend Dave, from Amarillo, is here now so he is spending time with Jack at the hospital so I can rest some. Jack is feeling so good that it has been difficult keeping him entertained the last week or so. We have played many games of dominoes and cards. Anna did get to go visit with him one evening and we were able to play games in the waiting room. dsc02206
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Just wanted everyone to know that Jack is doing good. I’ll post more tomorrow about how he is doing, but I am too exhausted tonight. See you tomorrow!

Jack receiving his new bone marrow.

Jack receiving his new bone marrow.

Jack just recieved his new bone marrow and everything went great. He got a great dosage thanks to the fact he is so skinny. He is so relieved to have finally gotten this step over with. Me too, since the last few days I have had several thoughts of….what if the donor backs out, what if the donor has a car wreck on the way to the hospital, what if the plane crashes, or what if the staff transporting the bone marrow trips and smashes the bag containing the bone marrow.

Jack is doing so well that you can’t even tell he has had chemo recently. He is getting really bored being stuck in the hospital. I know that his transplant has gone so smoothly because of all the prayers. Thank you so much for the prayers and support you all mean the world to us. It is amazing how calm you can feel in the middle of the storm when you are surrounded by prayer.

Several people have asked how Jack would receive the bone marrow so I am posting pics of him receiving the marrow and what it looks like.

Jack finished with his transplant. YEA!

Jack finished with his transplant. YEA!

This is what bone marrow looks like.
 

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